Who amongst us can resist the symphony of chocolate, coconut, jam and sponge? No one, and that’s why 21 July is our designated National Lamington Day. It’s a time for Australians, and Brisbanites in particular, to gather round a sleeve of lammos and give thanks for the divine inspiration that brought them to our plates.
Let’s rewind a bit to the day of the lamington’s euphoric invention. The year is somewhere between 1896 and 1901. The place is either Brisbane or Toowoomba. The occasion is a troupe of unexpected guests leeching hospitality of Charles Wallace Alexander Napier Cochrane-Baillie and Mary Houghton Hozier Baillie aka Lord and Lady Lamington. Now, many of us will know the heart-stopping panic of having to rustle up snacks for unexpected guests all too well, and this terror was further amplified by the fact that the Lamington’s chef, Armand Galland, had a pretty bare pantry to work with.
Ingredients included chocolate, desiccated coconut, and day-old sponge cake. Ever the cucumber, Galland resisted the temptation to dissolve into tears and got cracking on what was about to become the best improvised dessert the world has ever known by dipping the sponge in melted chocolate and giving it a roll in the coconut. I know it might not seem radical, but at the time the use of coconut was low-key revolutionary in European cuisine so all the guests were like ‘Whaaaat?!’ and boom: a national dessert was born.
Since its conception, we’ve ingested lamingtons in a bunch of variations including raspberry jam-filled, jam in lieu of chocolate, and even stacked like a layer cake, but this National Lamington Day, we urge you to celebrate quick thinking and daytime drinking with a lamington cocktail (!) from Mon Komo Hotel. This super special seasonal tipple is a chocolatey, coconutty, raspberry-tinted delight that’ll hit you right in the patriotism. And hey, while you’re in the spirit, why not double down with a family pack from Coles? You’ve probably earned it.
Image credit: provided, Mon Komo Hotel